As highlighted by Claudia Hammond of BBC this week, fake news is invading all areas. In cosmetics and beauty care products, the fake news, research studies, too-good-to-be true claims, “newly discovered African herb” and many more are jostling to grab consumers’ attention.
As Claudia Hammond says, “When the Independent UK newspaper, analysed the 20 most shared stories in the past year with cancer in the headline, more than half included claims which health authorities or doctors had discredited. Yet many millions of people had considered them interesting enough to share on social media. If fake news stories about politics can influence voting patterns, then could health stories about unproven treatments result in people eschewing their current medical treatment in favour of the latest recommendation in an article they see? Some fear these articles could be dangerous.”
People need to be wary of what they read, but how are they supposed to know whether something they see on Facebook or Twitter is based on good science? Simple precautions are: look for the source of the fake news or news article, does it look too good to be true, is it described as “the secret that even doctors won’t tell you” (then be wary), the bigger the claim the more evidence one would need to see that it’s true. Search for journalist’s name, do online search for the story’s details, plus the word “myth” or “hoax”.
Instances of mislabeling and deceptive marketing of cosmetic products are rising exponentially. Being in the business of natural skin care products, Herbally Radiant has been highlighting the harm to the skin that most of the aggressively marketed products can cause. In one recently reported case, Avalon Organics and Jason Brand Cosmetics agreed to settle a class action law suit filed by Lexington Law Group in a California court, which alleged that the two cosmetic companies were misleading the customers with unethical advertising and deceptive packaging labels on the products. The cosmetics sold by them during the period May 2007-May 2011 had misled the consumers to think that the products bought by them were mostly, or wholly organic.